Sunday, December 6, 2009
The gift of silence
Mum's the word in our house.
And mum's the music, the car crashes, the gun shots, the explosions.
So when I watch a movie like Keeping Mum -- which has no car crashes, gun shots or explosions -- the first thing in the morning on a Saturday, when my wife is still asleep, the only one who hears it is me.
You see, when we moved into our new apartment in March, one of the first differences we recognized from our old place was that the room configuration would leave a lot less separation between the optimal location for the television and our bedroom. In fact, the TV is on the other side of a relatively thin wall, whereas previously, it was not only down the hallway, but you could close doors on each side of that hallway to drown out the sound. Since my wife stays up later than I do, and (logically) I get up earlier than she does, and we both like our television, we needed a solution so we wouldn't keep each other awake/wake each other up.
So my wife made a purchase that I originally thought was a luxury. But it ended up being one of those "luxury" items that gives you a better ROI (return on investment) than almost anything you own. We use it almost every day, so I thought that it was time -- especially with the gift-giving season fully upon us -- to pimp this purchase to you guys, since some of you may have this same configuration in your house.
It's a set of wireless headphones from Radio Shack. I'm sure there are many other makers of wireless headphones, and many other vendors who sell them, but since these are the ones we have, I thought they deserved special recognition. For a mere $60, they've revolutionized the TV and movie watching in our house, so they deserve special recognition indeed.
All you do is plug a cable from the headphones' charging base into your headphone port on the TV, put on the headphones, and presto -- you're listening to the television from anywhere in your house. In fact, far beyond your house if you want. On a nice day, I've actually watched television from the garden through the window. I've even walked all the way out to the car, parked along the street several driveways up, with them on, without losing the signal. Perfect for not missing an at-bat in a baseball game while you run to the bathroom, as well.
Perhaps this doesn't seem revolutionary to you -- in fact, perhaps you would assume something like this existed, but just never considered buying one. Well, I'm here telling you to buy one. I've probably watched 10-15 more movies than I would have otherwise this year, just because of these headphones.
All I can speak for is this model, but as I said, its range is good, and the charge lasts for quite some time. My wife even leaves them on the table overnight sometimes, rather than in their charging station, and I've still been able to use them for an hour or two in the morning without a new charge. You can even adjust the volume in two different places -- on the headphones, or on the TV. Or both.
You can get a lot more sophisticated ones that cost in the hundreds of dollars, but I guess it really depends on what kind of quality you're looking for in your sound. For us, we don't mean for the headphones to take the place of a theatrical viewing experience, or even the experience of watching out loud on our home stereo. We just want to keep watching, or start watching, while our spouse is asleep, and the $60 ones work well enough for us.
So if you want to watch a Michael Bay movie at 3 in the morning -- or if you just want to watch something as relatively quiet as Keeping Mum -- you won't bother your wife, your husband, or perhaps most importantly, your sleeping child.
Sound like a good gift to you?